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USAnother twist in Sandy Hook families’ defamation case against Alex Jones

02:40  12 july  2019
02:40  12 july  2019 Source:   washingtonpost.com

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Eight families of people gunned down at Sandy Hook Elementary School and an FBI agent who responded to the scene brought a defamation case against Jones , who runs the conspiracy-driven Infowars website, and others. The families said they endured years of harassment from people who

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The Connecticut Supreme Court agreed to hear an appeal of a lower court’s decision sanctioning broadcaster Alex Jones, a sudden turn in a case pitting families whose relatives were killed at a Newtown, Conn., school against conspiracy theorists.

Eight families of people gunned down at Sandy Hook Elementary School and an FBI agent who responded to the scene brought a defamation case against Jones, who runs the conspiracy-driven Infowars website, and others. The families said they endured years of harassment from people who insist the 2012 attack was a hoax staged by the government to promote gun control. One parent described people accusing him of being a paid actor even before he had buried his 6-year-old daughter.

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The Connecticut Supreme Court agreed to hear an appeal of a lower court’s decision sanctioning broadcaster Alex Jones .

Families of the Sandy Hook school shooting victims have won a series of victories in their defamation suits against the conspiracy theorist Alex Jones that would open Mr. Jones ’s business records to them and compel him to speak under oath. Ten families are pursuing lawsuits against Mr. Jones over his

Jones and other defendants — including several corporate entities, a conspiracy theorist who has been a guest on Infowars and his associate — have defended their right to ask questions and speak freely.

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The case is one of several throughout the country brought by family members of Newtown victims, who are increasingly fighting back publicly against Jones and conspiracy theories.

Last month, a judge in Connecticut sanctioned Jones for two reasons: She said his legal team failed to produce several documents, despite repeated orders. And she decried what she described as a 20-minute “deliberate tirade and harassment and intimidation” on Jones’s broadcast about the lawsuit and one of the plaintiffs’ attorneys.

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In the case against Jones , the families of eight victims and a first responder say they’ve been subjected to harassment and death threats from his followers. A Connecticut judge ruled in the defamation case that Jones must undergo a sworn deposition, which is scheduled for July in Texas.

Conspiracy theorist and lawsuit magnet Alex Jones lost another legal battle last week when a court struck down an appeal related to a defamation In the years since the shooting, Heslin and other Sandy Hook parents have received death threats and online harassment from followers of Jones ’

Superior Court Judge Barbara Bellis ordered Jones to pay some of the plaintiffs’ legal fees, told the defendants they could not pursue a motion to dismiss and set a trial date for November 2020.

An attorney for Jones, Norm Pattis, said Bellis’s decision to issue sanctions “was an obscene mockery of core constitutional values” because robust and even offensive speech has long been protected by the First Amendment.

Jones’s attorneys asked the Connecticut Supreme Court to review Bellis’s decision, and on Tuesday, Chief Justice Richard A. Robinson granted their application to appeal.

“This is extremely good news for all who care about freedom of expression,” Pattis said. One may disagree with Jones, he said, in which case the remedy is to not listen to him. “Silencing speech is never a good idea,” the attorney said. “While we owe sympathy to the Sandy Hook parents, their grief does not entitle them to become censors.”

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Families of the Sandy Hook school shooting victims have won a series of victories in their defamation suits against the conspiracy theorist Alex Jones Eight families of people gunned down at Sandy Hook Elementary School and an FBI agent who responded to the scene brought a defamation case

Parents of two Sandy Hook victims sue Infowars host Alex Jones for defamation , claiming his lies about the shooting have led to them receiving death threats. Two lawsuits filed on Monday in Texas accuse Alex Jones of spreading lies about the 2012 Sandy Hook shooting. Families of two of the

The plaintiffs’ lawyers argued in their court filing, “There is no substantial public interest in allowing a litigant to abuse the discovery process and to threaten and harass opposing counsel.”

Another twist in Sandy Hook families’ defamation case against Alex Jones© Jose Luis Magana/AP A top state court has agreed to hear an appeal of a lower court’s decision sanctioning broadcaster Alex Jones. (Jose Luis Magana/AP) Josh Koskoff, an attorney representing the Sandy Hook families, said in a statement that they welcome the review of the record in this case.

“It is more important than ever that the Courtroom remains a place where the rule of law matters, where Court orders matter, where being truthful matters and where litigants can pursue their rights and justice can be dispensed free from intimidation or threats,” Koskoff said.

Last month, Chris Mattei, another attorney for the families, described the families’ legal action as a classic defamation case.

“There is no constitutional value in lies,” he said, and no legitimate protection for people who recklessly spread false information that could harm others.

Oral arguments could be heard before the state Supreme Court in September, according to a spokeswoman for the Connecticut Judicial Branch.

Jennifer Jenkins contributed to this report.

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